Shopping cart

British Buckeyes

The English, Scots, and Welsh in Ohio, 1700–1900

History, Regional Interest


How early British immigrants shaped Ohio

Because of their similar linguistic, religious, and cultural backgrounds, English, Scottish, and Welsh immigrants are often regarded as the “invisible immigrants,” assimilating into early American society easily and quickly and often losing their ethnic identities. Yet, of all of Ohio’s immigrants, the British were the most influential in terms of shaping the state’s politics and institutions. Also significant were their contributions to farming, mining, iron production, textiles, pottery, and engineering.

Until British Buckeyes, historians have all but ignored and neglected these industrious settlers. Author William E. Van Vugt uses hundreds of biographies from county archives and histories, letters, Ohio and British census figures, and ship passenger lists to identify these immigrants and draw a portrait of their occupations, settlement patterns, and experiences and to underscore their role in Ohio history.


William E. Van Vugt is professor of history at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is the author of Britain to America: The Mid-Nineteenth-Century Immigrants to the United States and co-author of Race and Reconciliation in South Africa: A Multicultural Dialogue in Comparative Perspective. His articles have appeared in The Encyclopedia of the Midwest (forthcoming), The Encyclopedia of New York, Making It in America: A Biographical Sourcebook of Eminent Ethnic Americans, and The Reader’s Guide to British History.

Look Inside